Diet and sleep are two of the most important components of a healthy lifestyle. But did you know that the food you are eating can contribute to how well you will sleep? Your kitchen might already be filled with such foods – almonds, kiwis, whole grains, etc. Add these to your diet and see how well you sleep, making you wake up feeling fresh and energetic.
“Eating the right foods provides energy for your workout and improves the quality of your sleep. In turn, a sound night of sleep makes you more likely to eat right the next day.” -Tom Rath 
What is the Science Behind Certain Foods that Help You Sleep?
Let’s see the way certain foods can help you make the quality and quantity of your sleep better :
- Your body is able to release melatonin, a hormone that regulates sleep-wake cycles.
- Certain foods help your body in generating serotonin, a chemical that helps you to manage your emotions and get a good night’s sleep.
- Certain foods can provide you with a good amount of magnesium which can help you deal with pains and feel relaxed.
- Certain foods can help regulate your blood sugar levels and slowly release it in the bloodstream and help you fall asleep.
- Your stress hormones can get balanced and, thus, make you feel relaxed for better sleep.
What are the Best Foods to Eat for a Good Night’s Sleep?
Incorporating specific foods into your diet can promote a good night’s sleep. Here are some food choices associated with improved sleep:
- Kiwi: Kiwis are one of my favorites. Usually, you can find them easily at your local fruit vendor. This fruit is filled with antioxidants and serotonin. They can help you to improve your sleep cycles. In fact, consuming kiwis can help you sleep earlier, for a longer period of time, and feel more rested.
- Tart Cherries: Tart cherries are the frozen versions of cherries. They are such an amazing natural source of melatonin that I can’t even begin to tell you. You can either have them directly, or you can drink them as juice. Either way, you will be able to notice that your sleep quality and duration have gotten better.
- Almonds: Almonds have a lot of advantages. My mother used to say seven almonds a day keep many physical problems away. They are a superfood and a great source of magnesium, serotonin, and cortisol, which, as we know, can promote relaxation and enhance sleep quality.
- Fatty Fish: One of the best foods that produce serotonin are fatty fish like salmon, tuna, mackerel, etc. They are high in omega-3 fatty acids, which can help you improve your sleep quality.
- Herbal Teas: Certain herbal teas, such as chamomile, peppermint, etc., have calming properties. Having a cup of these teas before bedtime can help you sleep quickly and better. They are even natural solutions for insomnia and sleep-related issues.
- Whole Grains: Foods like whole wheat bread, brown rice, oats, etc., have a low glucose level. So, they release energy slowly, which can help you regulate your blood sugar levels. This stops any disturbances in sleep that may happen because of sudden increases in blood sugar levels.
How to Incorporate Sleep-Friendly Foods into Your Diet?
It is super easy to add these foods to your diet. But, do keep other factors also in mind :
- Create a diet chart for yourself that include sleep-friendly foods, along with multiple food options.
- Keep a mix of all these food. For example, almonds you can have every day, but you can alternate between tart cherry juice and herbal teas. Plus, one day, you can have fish and whole grains the next.
- You can have a bedtime snack, like a small portion of almonds, kiwi, or tart cherry so that you are not sleeping empty stomach.
- Make sure to eat everything in moderation, keeping portion sizes in mind. Do not go overboard with any kind of food.
- Do not overeat before sleeping.
- Avoid caffeine, sugar, or heavy or greasy meal right before bedtime.
- Experiment with the food you love. You can cook healthy options using sleep-friendly foods.
Just remember to keep a balanced diet and be consistent with the foods you add to your diet.
Food habits and sleep go hand-in-hand. So if we add sleep-friendly foods to our diets, not only will we be eating healthy, but we will be able to sleep better and wake up feeling fresh. The foods mentioned in this article are healthy and filled with goodness- rich in magnesium, serotonin, melatonin, etc. Just try being creative about how you can add these to your normal routine, and half your sleep problems will get sorted.
If you face any sleep-related concerns, contact our expert counselors or explore more content at United We Care! At United We Care, a team of wellness and mental health experts will guide you with the best methods for your well-being. Additionally, you can join the Sleep Wellness Program and Advanced Wellness Program for Sleep Disorders at United We Care.
 “A quote from Eat Move Sleep,” Quote by Tom Rath: “Eating the right foods provides energy for your…” https://www.goodreads.com/quotes/7477871-eating-the-right-foods-provides-energy-for-your-workout-and
 K. Peuhkuri, N. Sihvola, and R. Korpela, “Diet promotes sleep duration and quality,” Nutrition Research, vol. 32, no. 5, pp. 309–319, May 2012, doi: 10.1016/j.nutres.2012.03.009.
 “The Best Foods To Help You Sleep | Sleep Foundation,” Sleep Foundation, Jan. 11, 2017. https://www.sleepfoundation.org/nutrition/food-and-drink-promote-good-nights-sleep
 familydoctor. org editorial staff, “Nutrition: How to Make Healthier Food Choices – familydoctor.org,” familydoctor.org, Apr. 01, 2004. https://familydoctor.org/nutrition-how-to-make-healthier-food-choices/